Greece closes banks as talks with creditors fail

Stock markets traded lower, and bonds rose, in Asia and across Europe as news broke of the failure of the Greek government to broker a deal with creditors. The Greek government declared a bank holiday and banks and stock exchange stayed closed.  A maximum cash withdrawal of 60 Euros was also imposed on Greek cash points amongst other restrictions that will last several days. The European Central Bank has given Greece a EUR 89 billion loan in order to facilitate the continued use of cash but has not boosted the facility.  There are already long queues at cash points as well as supermarkets and petrol stations despite the call from Premier Alexis Tsipras to stay calm. He also announced a deal-or-no deal referendum now planned for next Sunday.  Confusingly, the eurozone finance ministers also rejected a five-day extension to the bailout programme to beyond this new referendum.  This raises the obvious question about the logic of voting on a non-existent deal which has now been withdrawn.  There are high political and economic stakes on both sides now and the prospect of an uncertain week ahead which may well overshadow good economic news from the USA and UK. The FTSE 100 index stands at 6,641.22 down -1.66% on the day.